Fiscal deficit at 86.5% of annual goal

New Delhi : India’s budgetary fiscal deficit for April-July in the current fiscal at Rs 5.40 lakh crore touched 86.5 per cent of the full year’s target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore, data showed on Friday. The Controller General of Accounts (CGA) said that the fiscal deficit during the same period of last year was 92.4 per cent.

According to the CGA data, net of tax revenue during the period under review was Rs 2.93 lakh crore, or 19.8 per cent of the estimated target for 2018-19. During the same period last year, it was 21 per cent of the full-year target.

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said on Friday that the government was absolutely on target with its fiscal performance and was confident of keeping fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of GDP.

“Our fiscal deficit, fiscal performance is completely on track…We are perfectly confident that fiscal turnout this year, which we plan to be 3.3 per cent, will not be exceeded at all,” he said.

“Fiscal deficit at 86 per cent in first four months does not indicate any severe fiscal stress. We are exactly on our plans as far as fiscal management is concerned,” Garg said. He added that he was not very concerned about the monthly collections under the goods and services tax so far this financial year.

For the first four months of 2018-19, GST collections have averaged Rs 97,400 crore. Garg also said that the government’s weekly bond auctions were drawing steady demand across maturity brackets. Demand at gilt auctions has improved over the last three months, with bid-cover ratios–the quantum of bonds up for sale divided by the competitive bids received–showing a pick-up.

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